Community Struggles to Heal from Loss of Historic Church - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Community Struggles to Heal from Loss of Historic Church


HEBRON, Md.- Hearts remain heavy as the community still tries to come to grips with the loss of the historic Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church.

The building has been around for more than two centuries. A massive fire destroyed it yesterday afternoon. Fire investigators are still working to figure out the cause.

Tom Lovett, a member of the congregation, said losing the church is like losing a family member; it’s a loss that cuts deep.

" It's very sad because part of the family that has gone missing can never come back, and the history of this old church can never be replaced,” Lovett said. "It's just a very sad thing to happen to us.”

Lovett has been a member of the Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, located at the corner of Memory Garden’s Lane and Route 50 in Hebron,  for nine years. He said the congregation has worked hard to keep the church up.

 "We did a lot of work last year to try and preserve it, and this is what happened,” Lovett said. “I guess it's just part of life.”

It is a harsh reality for Teresa Michael. She will never forget seeing the church covered in flames.

“I was shocked,” Teresa said. “There were a lot of tears. I've seen this church many times as a child."

The church was built in the 1700s. There were items inside the church that were just as old. Sylvia Bradley, whose ancestors attended the church in the 1800s, said it is heartbreaking to know that many artifacts are gone forever.

"It's a real tragedy to lose those visible artifacts,” Bradley said. “Those things that you can hold in your hand and know that you're touching something that old."

Bradley is a historian with the Westside Historical Society. She said a little bit of history still remains, despite the loss of the building.

"I'm very thankful that the records and the historical documents that are associated with it ,all the way back to the 1700s, are safe. They were not in the church.”

Preliminary damage is estimated at approximately $500,000, according to investigators.

St. Paul's, also known also known as Spring Hill Church, recently celebrated its 240th anniversary in October 2013. The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976.

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